Frozen – Collector’s Edition (Blu-ray Review)

FrozenDisney animation made a sweeping return to form and comeback in 2013 with Frozen.  The film is now the winner of 2 Academy Awards, including Best Animated Feature (the other for Best Original Song for “Let It Go”).  Not only did the film receive high praise and reviews from critics, but it was a sensation globally.  Just last weekend the film crossed the 1 billion dollar mark at the global box office (and the film still hasn’t opened in Japan yet).  That leaves only Toy Story 3 ahead of it in terms of animated films all time box office (without adjusting for inflation), making it then the highest grossing animated non sequel of all time.  So yeah, this movie was pretty huge.  And I’m pretty honored to be covering it for Why So Blu? today!

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The king of Arendelle has a daughter Elsa, who possesses the power to create snow and ice.  One day while playing with her sister Anna, she strikes her in the head with her powers rendering her unconscious and some of her hair turning white.  The king and queen take Anna to a group of trolls in the mountain who save Anna, but warn Elsa’s powers may grow dangerous if she cannot learn to control them.  They also alter Anna’s memory so she has no recollection of Elsa’s powers.  As they grow, Anna longs for her sister who is has been confined, locked to her room, so as to not harm anyone else with her magic.

Following their parents death when they have grown, Elsa is then named the Queen.  Her powers are far more strong than they ever were before.  After a conflict of interests with each other, Anna decides to confront her sister.  In her anger, Elsa unleashes her power to the public.  As the public turn their fear into rage, Elsa escapes, creating an ice castle in the mountains to exile her to.  But she leaves the kingdom in a nonstop snow storm, forcing the Duke of Weselton to have men sent to kill her to end the storm.  Anna then takes off on a journey to get there first hopefully help to convince her sister to stop before it turns into a violent act.

Frozen takes Disney animation back to the well in a different sort of way than they tried before.  A few years ago they went back and tried their hand at classic fairytale using traditional hand-drawn 2D animation with The Princess And The Frog.  And while that movie turned out pretty good, it wasn’t quite the “comeback” or phenomenon they were hoping for.  This time, they go back to the Hans Christan Anderson wheelhouse and pull out a tale from the Disney vaults that had been put into commission 70 years ago, but never really came to fruition.  The tale was “The Snow Queen” but never went anywhere aside from some drawings and the like.  In Frozen they were able to keep a lot of the imagery and keep the theme strongly intact while spinning their own story in the process.  And with that, they manage to recapture the magic present in the golden age of Disney animation from the 90s.

Simplicity was a key takeaway for me that seemed to make the film a rousing success.  While the story does manage to have bigger stakes, it never strayed away from those important involved.  A lot of times these animated features can get bloated with so many characters (and one not “zany” ones at that) that it can kind of take away from the importance and focus of our leads.  This film really lets the core characters breathe and build relationships with one another instead of just one slapstick sequence leading to another.  It also lets the music do much of the talking when its time to take a break from the action and celebrate with a song.

The music of Frozen is pretty grand and steals a lot of the show when it steps forward.  At times it almost feels like some sort of rock opera.  It’s pretty great, you can’t help but get carried away with most of it.  The main song “Let It Go” is a big number and you can’t help but want to pump your fist (bang your head, twirl, leap in the air or whatever you do when a song gets you into it).  Each number has a fun, colorful set up and choreography to go along with it.  Like I had mentioned earlier, they’ve managed to completely recapture that magic that was present in those 90s days with songs like “Be Our Guest” (from Beauty And The Beast) or “One Jump Ahead” (Aladdin).  Purists may disagree, but with Frozne I feel I discovered it’s not the animation type that makes the classic Disney animated film tick, it’s the spirit, themes and songs that do.

I know it might be weird and obvious to do, but I want to praise the animation on the film.  The snow here is as impressive as the sand was in Rango.  It looks…well…REAL!  It’s a fully realized environment that lives and breathes.  I couldn’t help but just marvel at how great it was.  The characters also look lifelike in some instances.  I’m not talking real people-like, but in some instances they look like clay or plastic figures you could pick up and play with.  Most of the time it’s clearly CG, but I thought it was pretty awesome that most of this film looked like it had some weight to it as a lot of CG features look neat but ultimately ring hollow in terms of having depth and weight to the characters and environments in which they live.

There are a lot of thematic things and spoiler-related things I would want to go into more, but I hate tackling spoilers in a newer film like this.  I’ll just say it was pretty pleasing and kind of a step forward to see how this film ends up getting resolved.  It almost comes off as a surprising plot twist based on prior expectation regarding this sort of tales’ history.

Frozen manages to fully recapture the feel and spirit of the Disney animated films of my youth.  It’s got great characters, themes, songs and some cool battle sequences that almost serve as a bonus.  I had an absolutely terrific time with the film and it certainly lived up to its hype.  And like back in the day, Disney now has me anxious to see what’s up next with this mold they’ve revisited.  With Pixar kind of fading from being such a sure thing, it’s cool to see someone step up the plate that has “got it” with a movie like this.  I’m hoping that Frozen is the beginning of hot streak for Disney animation (crud, I just pulled a Gene Shalit there).



Encoding: MPEG-4 AVC

Resolution: 1080p

Aspect Ratio: 2:24.1

Clarity/Detail:  It should come as no surprise that this discs picture is absolutely perfection.  The image is sharp, the detail is insanely strong.  When animation is this good, it’s always impressive how damn detailed they get on clothes and such.  But the big star of this movie is the snow which is an amazing achievement here in its look and behavior.

Depth:  This film had a very 3 dimensional look.  There are some very breathtaking big wide shots and the areas and landscapes are absolutely fully realized.  Characters are also fully realized and look as if they are figures that you could pick up hold or play with right from the screen.

Black Levels:  Black levels are terrific.  The darkened scenes produce many shades and a very natural look.  No instances of crushing or anything of the like were noticed.

Color Reproduction:  Colors are strong and pronounced.  So many different shades of, of all things, white its pretty crazy.  This film has a very fine, distinct palette of colors producing the most gorgeous of imagery.

Flesh Tones: n/a

Noise/Artifacts: ZILCH!

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Audio Format(s):  English 7.1 DTS-HD MA, English Descriptive Video Service 2.0 Dolby Digital, French 5.1 Dolby Digital, Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital

Subtitles: English, English SDH, French, Spanish

Dynamics: This may be one of the best tracks of the year.  Frozen comes to full life in your living room.  Playing with every speaker, making every song number sound as if its being performed live right in your living room.  This track is a snow beast of its own.

Low Frequency Extension:  Perfect use of the sub woofer here comes in many different forms.  From trodding in the snow to the snow monster attacking, Frozen makes use of all facets of your low end sounds.

Surround Sound Presentation:  As I state previously, this track makes your side and rear speakers feel welcome and necessary where many tracks just use them for extra ambience and score.  This track actually puts them to work.

Dialogue Reproduction:  Dialogue is crisp, clear and absolutely nails it during every one of the song number.

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Frozen comes with a Digital Copy and DVD version of the film.  The extras are surprisingly very light here (nothing running much over 7 minutes).  I have a feeling Disney is trying hard to promote their new Watch Disney Movies Anywhere app and will be putting up exclusive content (that SHOULD be on the disc as well) there.

Original Theatrical Short “Get A Horse!” (HD, 6:00) – A fun little vintage Mickey Mouse cartoon meets the modern era that I’m sure ran before the film theatrically.  This one is actually in 7.1 too and makes grand use of it.  Plenty good fun.

The Making Of Frozen (HD, 3:18) – This is the funny little musical number starring Josh Gad and Kristen Bell that we have previously shared on here at Why So Blu.

D’frosted: Disney’s Journey From Hans Christian Anderson To Frozen (HD, 7:28) – A look at the 70 year origin of the “Snow Queen’s” history at Disney and an appreciation of the work of Disney animator Marc Davis.

Deleted Scenes – 4 scene removed from the film, provided in sketch/storyboard form with performances from the actors.

  • Play All With Introductions By Directors Chris Buck And Jennifer Lee (HD, 6:51) – The directors introduce and give explanations as to why these scenes were cut.
  • Never Underestimate The Power Of Elsa
  • The Dressing Room
  • Meet Kristoff #1
  • Meet Kristoff #2

Music Videos – Its 4 different music video for the same song, just in different languages with different singers.

“Let It Go (End Credit Version)”

  • Demi Lovato – English (HD, 3:51)
  • Martina Stoessel – Spanish (HD, 3:50)
  • Martina Stoessel – Italian (HD, 3:50)
  • Marsha Milan –Malaysian (HD, 4:11)

Original Teaser Trailer (HD, 1:32)

Sneak Peaks – Trailers/Commercials for Disney Movie Rewards, Disney Parks, Adventures by Disney, Bears, Sleeping Beauty Diamond Edition, Muppets Most Wanted, The Pirate Fairy

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I could know this score down a bit for the extras being skimpy, but I’m not.  It’s a terrific film with a MONSTER presentation on this Blu-ray disc.  This comes highly recommended as its one to put in your collection that you will watch over and over again.  And if you’re a parent like me, you KNOW that is definitely going to be the case.  Disney has hit the ball way out of the park and into the parking lot 2 blocks over with Frozen.  I can sit here and sing it high praise all day, but at the end of the day, most of you know it’s a good film.  This Blu-ray definitely does it the best of justice, and if they do put more extras out via Diseny Movies Anywhere, they’ve supplied you with the digital copy that will give you access to them.  So, you’ve already go them.  Definitely click the link below to pre-order your copy of Frozen today!



Brandon is the host, producer, writer and editor of The Brandon Peters Show (thebrandonpetersshow.com) on the Creative Zombie Studios Network. At Why So Blu he is a Writer/Reviewer. Brandon is a lifelong obsessive film nerd. As eager to educate in the world of film as I am to learn. An avid lover of horror, schlock and trash. You can also find older essays on his blog Naptown Nerd (naptownnerd.blogspot.com).

2 Responses to “Frozen – Collector’s Edition (Blu-ray Review)”

  1. Aaron Neuwirth

    The lack of extras is actually the one thing that gives me hesitation on going out right away to buy this. “Collector’s Edition” my as…snowman’s nose!

  2. Brian White

    Good review here, Brandon! I would be just fine with those extras. I can’t wait to sit down with this one this week and see for myself what all the buzz is about. Thank you!